Words you need to know - Connect and communicate

a woman sitting at a table talking to a young teenager

Getting help and support can be hard enough without having to know the definitions of all the new words you encounter. We've put together this list so that you can understand what things mean and be on your way to support faster and easier.




  • Active/reflective listening: Active listening is where you use all your senses to concentrate fully on what somebody is saying, and reflective listening is where you describe your understanding of what somebody has said back to them to make sure you have understood correctly.

  • Boundaries: personal boundaries are the physical, emotional and mental limits we establish to protect our emotional wellbeing.

  • Consequence: An action or outcome that will take place should rules or boundaries be broken. Learn more about risk taking and consequences here.

  • Resilience: The ability to ‘bounce back’ from a difficult situation. Learn more about teaching your teenager to be resilient here.

  • Self-care: An activity or activities that you do voluntarily to help you maintain your physical, mental or emotional health. Learn more about self-care by watching this video.

  • Self-talk: This is your inner voice and can be positive or negative ie. “I look great today.” or “Nobody cares about me.”

  • Specific mental health difficulties: There are lots of diagnosable mental health difficulties other than depression and anxiety, including Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). If you think you or your teenager might have a mental health difficulty it’s a good idea to see a professional. Learn more about getting help here.

  • Supportive relationship: This means having the other person’s best interests at heart but also being present, involved, non-judgemental and helpful. Learn more about supportive parenting here.